Recently I sewed a form fitting dress for Allegra, and shared some tips about sewing for other on the So Sew English blog. Sewing for others is something I’m quite familiar with as you know if you’ve perused this blog for any time at all! Side note: my favorite sewing is for myself…don’t tell my family!
A very long time ago, I sewed up a peplum version of the Charleston Dress for Allegra. It was intended as a muslin, and I don’t think it ever made it to the blog. And then a couple of years passed, yikes! So it was time to sew up the dress version of the pattern. I rechecked the peplum/muslin and made a few tweaks to the fit, and decided to use the most lovely ottoman knit fabric from So Sew English.
The Charleston Dress is such a nice pattern, and yes, we say that about every Hey June pattern we sew. What can we say? We just love this pattern company! The Charleston Dress can be made in 8 different sizes from XS to 3X. It had two different skirt options (a-line and fitted) 7 different sleeve options! Pockets can be added to the a-line skirt version. We sewed the fitted skirt with elbow length sleeves.
Allegra has her style dialed in and knows exactly what she likes and doesn’t like in clothing. And she has quite sophisticated taste if you ask me! That’s why I love it when she asks me to sew something for her. I know she’s not going to be satisfied until the fit is perfect, and accept that challenge.
I share quite a few tips on how to measure someone when you’re sewing for them, but I have another tip: The measuring doesn’t stop once the person you’re sewing for goes away! I continue to measure by comparing the flat pattern pieces against the measurements I took. And then if possible, I measure the pattern pieces against the actual person I’m sewing for to get an idea of how close I am on fit before cutting into fabric. I’ve caught little things like the need for a wide shoulder adjustment in doing exactly this kind of measuring.
Besides the adjustments we made for fit, the only change we made to the Charleston Dress pattern was to eliminate the zipper in the back. This fabric had plenty of stretch and didn’t need a zipper for entry and exit.
This beautiful ottoman knit fabric was really hard to photograph although the finished dress is lovely in person! I made her stand in several different areas trying to capture the gorgeous texture of the fabric! She was patient with my dithering on location.
I’ve blown out the exposure on this photo to show off those gorgeous raised ribs in the fabric. They normally run horizontally across the fabric which led to some fit issues that it took no less than 5 fittings to get right. Oh well, the end product was worth it, don’t you think?
Mr. Skirtfixation approved and said that it’s very appropriate for her new job at a bank and said I need to make her two more in different colors. Good think I just found some navy ottoman fabric and brown ottoman fabric.
All in all, even through the copious number of fit adjustments, the Charleston Dress is an amazing pattern to sew! Allegra has already worn this dress twice in the short time since we sewed it, so that’s a win! We can’t wait to sew more!
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